Saturday, December 10, 2016

Nick Millevoi - Desertion (Shhpuma Records, 2016)

Nick Millevoi is a Philadelphia based guitarist who explores and expands upon the sound of the electric guitar through frequent use of jazz improvisation, feedback and raw noise. He is a member of the groups Many Arms and Haitian Rail, as well as developing projects on his own as a solo guitarist. (YouTube, NYCTaper) On this album he is in the company of Jamie Saft on hammond organ and piano, Johnny DeBlase on acoustic and electric bass and Ches Smith on drums with Dan Blacksberg on trombone and string arrangements and June Bender on violin sitting in. The music on the album is an amalgam of jazz and rock and also travels the folk, country, and blues roots of present day American music with Millevoi exploring the territory in unpredictable ways. “Desertion and the Arsonist’s Match” leads off the album with a lengthy and ominous performance that is moody and exploratory as the thick bass, organ and nimble percussion make for an exciting accompaniment to Millevoi’s open ended guitar explorations. There is a hint of the blues on “Just for a Moment I Stood There in Silence” and the music has space to breathe and develop in an organic fashion. “Where They Do Their Capers” has a cinematic sweep to it, music for a film noir set on a dark and rainy night, with smears or distorted electronics and cymbal washes reverberating across a lonely soundscape. “Disneyland in Hamtramck” has a quieter vibe, with lush organ framing the guitar and drums, and the trio branches out for a lovely improvised section. A sparse acoustic interlude, “The Big Moment Is Always Out There Waiting” has a stark beauty to it, recalling iconoclastic guitarists like John Fahey and Jack Rose. “The Fire That Partially Damaged City Hall” concludes the album in an epic fashion, melding post-rock exploration with jazz improvisation. Swirls of sound branch out like a whirlwind, enveloping Millevoi and whipping his guitar up into a fever pitch, then making way for a fine drum solo. The music on the album develops into a rewarding journey of surprise and discovery, with a wide range of the emotional contexts that reference the jazz and rock of the past while pushing relentlessly forward. Desertion -

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